Origin of the Dachshund
The official origin of the Dachshund can be traced to Germany in the 15th Century where two sizes of dachshunds were bred primarily for hunting. The Standard Dachshund was bred mainly for sniffing and flushing out Badger, Boar and other similar burrow-dwelling mammals, whereas the Miniature Dachshund was bred mainly for hunting rabbits. Dachshunds have also been used for hunting prairie dogs and tracking deer in the United States. The dachshund’s deep chest can provide the dogs with increased lung capacity for when they are hunting underground.
The name Dachshund literally means badger dog in German, deriving from the German words ‘Dachs‘ and ‘Hund‘. Dachshunds are also commonly known as Doxies, Daxies, wiener dogs or sausage dogs because of their long, slender, ‘sausage’-like body and build.
Breed sizes, coat types and colours
There are three different sizes of Dachshund; Standard, Miniature, and Kaninchen meaning Rabbit in German.
Standard and Miniature dachshunds are recognised almost universally, however the Rabbit sized Dachshund is not recognised in the United Kingdom, where they are classified as Miniature. The Rabbit size is however recognised by the World Canine Federation (Fédération Cynologique Internationale/FCI) which contains kennel clubs from 83 different countries around the world. A fully grown Standard Dachshund can weigh an average of 16lb (7.3kg) to 32lb (15kg), and the Miniature variety can weigh less than 12lb (5.4kg). The Kaninchen can weigh between 8lb (3.6kg) and 11lb (5.0kg)
There are three different coat types for dachshunds; smooth haired, wire haired and long haired. There are a wide variety of coat colours . There can also be a number of patterns that can occur on any of the base colours, such as Dapple (merle) or Brindle. Most commonly seen in Miniature Smooths in the UK are Red, Black & Tan, Chocolate & Tan, Silver Dapple & Tan, Chocolate Dapple & Tan.
Registration as Colour Not Recognised
Colour Not Recognised should be avoided, CNR indicates that a colour is not correct as regards the Breed Standard for the breed. The Breed Standard describes the desired colours in the breed, and while other colours may exist, these are considered undesirable in this breed. Undesirable colours may have occurred due to out crossing, or should be avoided if they are known to indicate conditions which can be detrimental to health. Dilute colours in all types and sizes of Dachshund are known to cause significant problems including Colour Dilution Alopecia also known as CDA. This is a genetic defect, of which there is no cure, although some puppies have problems from about 6 months old others appear normal for the first couple of years. Affected dogs often start losing hair along the spine their coat is dull and becomes thin and patchy with skin dry, eventually most dogs lose all their hair.
A Dachshund’s temperament is known to be playful, but stubborn. Generally Dachshunds are incredibly devoted and loyal to their owners. Miniatures in particular are very good with children. Dachshunds are incredibly intelligent, and are renowned for being very independent. Despite their small size, Dachshunds are well known for their daring nature. However, their independent minds can sometimes clash with their owners which will require patience and persistence when they are a puppy, especially during training sessions. Dachshunds should be bold and outgoing. The Breed Standard describes them as being “Faithful, versatile and good tempered”.
Dachshunds generally suffer few health problems providing they are kept well exercised and fed a healthy, balanced diet. On average, they live to more than 12 years old.
Because they are a dwarf breed there is an increased risk of back problems (IVDD). Always ask about any history of back problems when buying a puppy and avoid buying puppies from parents with exaggerated length of body or excessively short legs as these are risk factors for IVDD. Problems are best avoided by keeping the dog fit and not allowing them to become overweight.
Mini Long, Mini Smooth and Mini Wire breeding stock should have been DNA tested or confirmed via heritage for Retinal Degeneration (cord1 mutation P.R.A.) which is an inherited condition causing degenerative disease of the retina, resulting in visual impairment, or blindness. Mini Wire breeding stock should have been DNA tested for Lafora Disease (a form of epilepsy).